Last week, my friend Terri and I had our wallets stolen at work. Some guy (and we know it’s a guy) walked into each of our offices and helped himself to our wallets. Our offices are next to each other and are possibly more vulnerable than others because we’re closest to the entrance hall.
Now we have locks.
Within a week, the same man (the photos match) walked into a women’s clothing store a few miles from us and took a wallet of one of its employees.
My interest in this is beyond “interest.” My emotions have run the gamut.
Sadness. Anger. Gratitude that he didn’t enact even more damage. Terri and I have shared the security photo on Facebook, and we were tagged by people associated with the dress shop.
Terri and I also admit to driving around a nearby shopping area, scoping out “our thief.” It’s weird to think someone is walking around with parts of our identity. (Though more than likely the sentimental parts, the photographs, are already in the landfill.)
In the surveillance photos we’ve seen, the man is wearing a navy ball cap.
We remain in semi-regular touch with law enforcement, although we realize that wallet theft is low priority most days–as it should be.
After more than a week of reflection, I have come up with several thoughts, in no particular order:
1) I envision a conversation with him that would basically go like this: “You have done a really (terrible) thing to me, and to others; and I forgive you, or at least I’m working on it.”
2) Though I am not a thief like this man, in the obvious sense, I have been a thief in that I have stolen joy and happiness from other people. I have hurt and harmed. He and I are more similar than I care to admit. So I have a modicum of compassion for him.
3) As a Christian, I am called to forgive this person.
4) As a Christian, I believe in loving confrontation and truth-telling. Truth and reconciliation go hand-in-glove. Even though I can be clumsy in confrontation, I believe healthy confrontation allows me to go forward and find healing in relationships.
5) To clarify: I do not plan to become friends with this man, should we ever communicate.
6) Vengeance is not mine.
7) What kind of life does this man have? Does he have a family? A pet? Hobbies other than stealing?
8) I am grateful for social media that, in addition to the more traditional variety, connects us in ways I never imagined.
9) My place of work is very open and should remain so.
10) I believe Mr. Ball Cap will be caught. I should not be the one meting out the punishment.